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The Professional: A Spenser Novel | [Robert B. Parker]

The Professional: A Spenser Novel

A knock on Spenser's office door can only mean one thing: a new case. This time the visitor is a local lawyer with an interesting story. Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law firm of Shaw & Cartwright, and over the years she's developed a friendship with wives of very wealthy men. However, these rich wives have a mutual secret: they've all had an affair with a man named Gary Eisenhower- and now he's blackmailing them for money.
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Publisher's Summary

A knock on Spenser's office door can only mean one thing: a new case. This time the visitor is a local lawyer with an interesting story. Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law firm of Shaw & Cartwright, and over the years she's developed a friendship with wives of very wealthy men. However, these rich wives have a mutual secret: they've all had an affair with a man named Gary Eisenhower- and now he's blackmailing them for money. Shaw hires Spenser to make Eisenhower "cease and desist," so to speak, but when women start turning up dead, Spenser's assignment goes from blackmail to murder.

As matters become more complicated, Spenser's longtime love, Susan, begins offering some input by analyzing Eisenhower's behavior patterns in hopes of opening up a new avenue of investigation. It seems that not all of Gary's women are rich. So if he's not using them for blackmail, then what is his purpose? Spenser switches tactics to focus on the husbands, only to find that innocence and guilt may be two sides of the same coin.

With its eloquently spare prose and some of the best supporting characters to grace the printed page, The Professional is further proof that "[t]here's hardly an author in the crime novel business like Parker" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

©2009 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House

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  •  
    Mike From Mesa 01-26-10 Member Since 2003

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1130
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    "Another wonderful Spencer book"

    As with an earlier reviewer I, too, have been reading the Spencer books for a very long time. I have either read or listened to them all from the first book and have always enjoyed them for what they are - light reading with an interesting story to tell, but with no serious moral issues at stake.

    I would not normally have reviewed this book since I have not reviewed any of the previous Audible Spencer books I have listened to, but was convinced to do so by some of the negative reviews I saw. Robert B Parker was a master of the short sentence and short chapter. His books are full of "He said" and "She said", but they are at the core of his writing style and, over time, I have become so wrapped up in the story and the characters that I no longer even notice. Rather it is the regular characters in the book, their relationships with each other and the underlying humor that have made these books so enjoyable, at least for me. Add to that an interesting story, the process of unraveling what actually happened and who did it and the masterful reading of Joe Mantegna and you have a pleasant couple of days of listening.

    I enjoy these books so much that I often listen to them again when I want to spend a couple of days just relaxing. For me, the pleasure is in the listening and light humor more than in the "who-dun-it". If you are looking for the Maltese Falcon, you are not going to find it here. I, for one, am truly going to miss seeing more of these books since Mr. Parker recently died and I assume there is no one to continue the series.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who just wants a pleasant relaxed read, but I would also recommend that they start with some of the earlier books since much of the pleasure from the book involves the relations between the characters and that is something that you need some history to understand.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dageff N J 12-24-09
    Dageff N J 12-24-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some positive feedback"

    I respectfully disagree with the first two reviews posted on Audible that expressed significant disappointment with this book. Perhaps if this was the first Spenser book I ever read (or listened to) I would have been disappointed. Having not missed a single one since the very beginning more than 20 years ago, this book was exactly along the lines of what I would have expected from Robert Parker. Spenser played his role as he always does, Susan and Hawk added some interesting perspectives, and many of Spenser's old friends played their reliable parts. The story wasn't the best one Mr. Parker ever wrote but it entertained me and I listened my way through it in less than two days and I was satisfied when it ended. I recommend this book most particularly for anyone who likes Spenser. If you haven't read him before, try one of Mr. Parker's earlier Spenser books first and you'll eventually get around to reading this one as you won't be able to stop following Spenser's travails. I can't wait for the next one and I'll happily take Jesse Stone or Virgil and Everett when Spenser is not available as all of Mr. Parker's series are entertaining (but read each series in order if you have the ability to do so--it's much more fun that way!). --A huge fan

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Jacksonville, FL, United States 10-13-09
    D. Jacksonville, FL, United States 10-13-09 Member Since 2005
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    "big disapointment"

    Someone must of had a deadline to meet to publish this book. Spencer couldn't pull this story off with all his glib charm. Not much plot -- Spencer and the author wander aimlessly thru this one to a equally poor finish. I have always been a big Spencer fan but I want my money back. My biggest regret is that i tried to stay with the story thinking it might get better. Shame on you Mr. Parker we have come to expect better from you.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren Huntingdon Valley , PA, USA 03-27-10
    Warren Huntingdon Valley , PA, USA 03-27-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Disappointing final book"

    I have been an avid Spenser fan and mourn the death of Robert Parker. Unfortunately, his last entry into the series was a bit of a disappointment to me. First, let me say the positive, Joe Mantegna does his usual, excellent performance. He has become Spenser to me much like Dick Hill is Jack Reacher and Len Cariou is Harry Bosch, other favorites of mine. The story itself leaves much to be desired.

    I actually found the plot quite boring. With the exception of the regulars, the new characters were so vacuous that I could not care less about their stories and if they lived or died. There was no suspense or tension as Spenser, Hawk and Susan were never in any danger and were pretty peripheral. There was essentially no action whatsoever. Finally, there seemed to be inordinately long stretches where all that was going on was Spenser and Susan dissecting the meaning of love and their relationship. It almost seems as if Mr. Parker realized this would be his final entry and was writing this to someone close to him.

    Thank you Mr. Parker for all of the pleasure you have brought to us in the past. I will miss the regular entries into this entertaining series of books.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lewis Clayton Jr. 02-05-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Reader does a great job"

    The reader does a great job and the book is very entertaining. It's on my better book list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen sparta, NJ, United States 05-04-10
    Karen sparta, NJ, United States 05-04-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Highly recommend"

    Highly recommend for all the usual reasons - great storyline, narrator...everything you expect from a Spenser listen. I can't listen to anyone but Mantegna read a Spenser novel. Won't even consider buying the others because the few I've tried, the narrators are a huge distraction. Please re-release them all with Mantegna!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-23-13
    Denise Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-23-13 Member Since 2009

    I buy audio books to listen to during my commute and for taking long walks.

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    "Good story, good voice, great for listening."
    If you could sum up The Professional in three words, what would they be?

    Blackmail, sex, and mystery


    What did you like best about this story?

    I am a Spencer fan. The stories are good, they move along, the characters are interesting.


    Which character – as performed by Joe Mantegna – was your favorite?

    Spenser and Hawk vie for my favorite


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no. I listen while I commute


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cwdunn 08-05-12
    cwdunn 08-05-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mantegna's great!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Professional to be better than the print version?

    The narrator made this book great, especially in his voice characterizations. His voice for the muscle, Boo, for example, is worth the price of the book, in my opinion. The one problem with the audio version is really caused by Parker's writing style: the number of the times the phrase "he said" and "she said" appears in this book is in the hundreds; and that number is obvious when the book is read aloud. Mantenga's performance, however, outweighs the aggravation caused by the "he said/she said" issue, in my opinion.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. This is the third of Parker's books that I have read or listened two, and I have enjoyed the plots of all of them. I haven't finished this book yet, and I still don't know "who done it."


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any scene with the mobster Boo... :). Also, the character Hawk has some funny lines, as always.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud on a few occasions, and often listened with a smile on my face and an occasional chuckle. Very enjoyable book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 03-13-12
    Samantha 03-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heard Parts of this on XM Book Radio"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Professional to be better than the print version?

    I got into listening to this story on XM Book Radio. Unfortunately they only played an hour at a time and I was missing chapters. I like the way Joe Montagna reads the story. I agree with some of the others about the


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josephine Union, NJ, United States 01-04-13
    Josephine Union, NJ, United States 01-04-13 Member Since 2007

    Love Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Spenser!"
    What did you love best about The Professional?

    I love anything Spenser.


    If you’ve listened to books by Robert B. Parker before, how does this one compare?

    I like Joe Mantegna as the narrator


    What does Joe Mantegna bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Joe brings each character to life. He changes inflections appropriately.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    I always love the relationship with Spenser and Susan. I like that she had a more prominant role in this book. Since Mr. Parker is gone, we have to savor what he's left us.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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